Digital technology is heavily transforming every industry in 2019, and commercial real estate is no exception. Property managers, building owners, and building engineers are replacing outdated equipment, operations, and decision-making models in favour of innovative solutions that cut operational costs, improve tenant relations, boost sustainability, and increase total asset value. Here’s a list of the most influential technologies and trends that real estate businesspeople should pay attention to in 2021.

Drone virtual tours

As an ultimate way of showcasing properties and providing captivating aerial views for marketing purposes, property management and commercial real estate companies are turning to advanced drone technology. This way, the property presentation is able to include the view from a window or even balcony before the new development even breaks ground. In order to gain an edge over the competition, property managers are considering drone imaging for selling the merits of their rental units. In addition to marketing, their state-of-the-art imagery and low cost make drones invaluable for providing engineering and maintenance data in every stage of the property lifecycle. 

Fibre optics

Over the past five years, Internet Protocol traffic has been growing. As telecommunication companies are expanding their grid of fibre optics to new and old urban developments, landlords and property managers need to follow the suit and upgrade their infrastructure with fibre optics, as well. With bandwidths enabling download speeds up to 150Mbps, fibre optics are considered a ‘must have’ for many businesses. In a recent study, it was revealed that the availability of fibre optics network increases rental values by up to 8%. Despite many seeing it as a steep investment, upgrading from copper to fibre optics is a necessary cost of staying competitive in today’s digital age. 

Cloud computing

In order to reap numerous benefits that go along, property management businesses are moving to cloud-based applications and computing. Although the initial charge was led by hotel industry with their Frontdesk system, commercial real estate management firms are following the suit, especially with online applications or Software as a Service. Although automated property management software suits have become a quintessential part of the industry, many companies are choosing to replace self-hosted versions with their online counterparts. The ability to access your key applications from any place at any time is an extremely useful feature when you’re managing numerous properties. 

Blockchain

The use of blockchain solutions can revolutionize rental property payments by removing the middleman, and reducing transaction costs. In addition, by using a shared database, it can improve cost-effectiveness and decision-making in leasing processes, as owners, tenants, and service providers now have easy access to ownership information or transaction history. Using smart contract platforms such as Brickblock, businesses can tokenize their real estate assets and make them transferable. On their part, users are now able to buy tokenized shares of real-world assets with cryptocurrency, which allows both parties to remove barriers imposed by traditional financial institutions. 

Geolocation

Geolocation technology allows for simple maps to be transformed into complex sets of critical data about real estate and associated properties. It doesn’t only let businesses determine the prospective buyer’s location in a traditional sales sense, but also pinpoint their physical location using predictive analysis technologies. In addition, geolocation plays an essential role in real estate marketing, changing the way properties are marketed and traded. Software like geothinQ, for example, uses a GIS visualization software that gives the user a real-time lay of the land, including on-site topography, flood zone maps, different soils, and many more factors needed to analyse the value of the land. 

Drone condition assessment

As drone technology is advancing, new roles in civil engineering and property management are being added to their purview. Now they are successfully used by property managers to conduct structural inspections without having to waste time and money on scaffolding to reach difficult parts of the structure, as well as without risking the lives of private contractors in potentially dangerous situations. Drone imaging has also been proven effective in monitoring properties for damage, mimicking the way insurance companies use drone footage to create history reports for their clients. 

Property management has become a bustling multidimensional industry with billions at stake, while opportunities for growth and threats are coming from all directions. These top six trends are made possible by new development in software and electronics, as well as the amenities that modern tenants appreciate. Although it seems that it’s the available technology that is driving the change, the real drivers are tenants who’re always looking for a better UX.

Posted by Raul Harman